That portion of the Atlantic ocean occupying the triangular space between the Azores, the Canaries, and the Cape Verd Islands, has a thick growth of weeds, which, as our young readers will remember, occa-sionedgloomy thoughts in the breasts of the crews of Columbus'vessels. Though these weeds—/((.cws natans—,Te now far from being so abundant as then, an enterprising Frenchman proposes their utilization, and he estimates that enough may be collected every year to make a fertilizing manure for more than a thousand million acres of land. The plan suggested is that the vessels employed in cod fishing should bring cargoes of the weeds at such times of the year as they cannot be engaged in fishing. M. Dubois Caplain has patented an improvement in refining metals. Instead of leading the vapors and gases disengaged during the process simply into water, he introduces fine wrought iron shavings into the chambers for their reception and condensation. He also brings them in contact with a jet of steam situated in the line of draft. Under the combined action of the steam and iron, the vapors of the sulphuric and sulphurous acid are decomposed and sulphate of iron is formed which passes off in a state of solution. The reaction will be the same whatever metal may BE substituted for the iron, although the product may be di"erent, that is if the metal can be attacked by sulphuric acid. A fearful disaster has occurred at Carnarvon, Wales, during the cartage of some packages of nitro-glycerin from the harbor to the quarries. The material exploded on the way, and the cart horses and the men attending were blown to atoms. The railway station, near the scene of the explosion, was torn to pieces, and a village a quarter of a mile distant, was much damaged by the shock, which caused great consternation among the inhabitants. Four men were killed by the explosion. A correspondent says that there ARA now two salt wells in successful operation at Coshocton, Ohio, that the brine has been struck for a third, and the work of sinking fi fourth is about half done. Large beds of re clay are being discovered and also numerous bands of graphite. He considers the mineral wealth of the Muskingum Valley capable of extraordinary development, and adds that it is contemplated to build soon a railroad from Mahoning County, in a south-westerly direction, through the heart of the best mineral district in Ohio. According to the London Mining Journal, the attention of society in Turkey is now directed to industrial enterprises, and mining operations are in great favor. A dozen concessions of rights to work minerals on national lands have been granted to companies and individuals. An international exhibition of the products of workmen's labor will be held at London in 1870, and Mr. Thornton, the British Minister, has been requested to make the matter known to the citizens of the United States, which he will proceed to do when more fully advised in regard to details. The great aim is to develop physical labor throughout the world. The Directors of the Connecticut Western Railroad Company, have voted at a meeting held in Hartford, to locate the road from Hartford to CoUins-viUe, by way of Bloomfleld. Tariffvillc notch, and North Canton. The road is to follow Brick Kiln brook from Hartford, through Blue Hills to Bloomfield. The White liiver Journal, DevsilVs Bluff, X.rkansas, tella us that Gen. Dun-lap, of Goliad, Texas, has ramee plants growing on his plantation four feet high. He is the pioneer in that new field of enterprise in Western Texas. Two new air compressors, each running ten drills, making a two-inch hole and capable of sinking a foot por minute, are said to be now put in at the west shaft of the Hoosac tunnel. Twenty-five dollars worth of nitroglycerin is daily used at the central shaft. The Mormons of Utah, during last year, irrigated and reclaimed 93,799 acres of land. Altogether they had a large amount of land under cultivation : 80,518 acres in cereals, 1,811 in sorghum, 6,839 in root crops, 706 in cotton, 29 S76 in meadow, OOG in apples, 1,011 in peaches, 75 in grapes, and 195 in currants. The larger part of these lands is artificially irrigated. Three tuns of solid silver consigned to Chicago, recently passed through Davenport, Iowa. It was in bricks which weighed 1,500 to 1,504 ounces each. With one exception the bricks were in sealed leather sacks. The exception was bare. It weighed 125 pounds and 2 ounces, and bore the stamp " $1,301-96." Most of the silver was from the Equator lode in Georgetown, Colorado. Of the 10,027,300 furs sold in St. Petersburg, Russia, last year, about 9,000,-000 werefromSiberiaandl86,500 fromAlaaka. The value of these furs in gold was about $3,489,375. The coinage of the branch mint in San Francia co for June was $1,340,000 in gold, and $8,000 in silver- The total for the year ending June 30, is given at $19,016,000. Edmund About, the well-known French writer, is engaged on a work on Workingmen's Unions. The Emperor Napoleon, has, it is said, given him $4,000 for the book. A new telegraph cable has been successfully laid between Peterhead' Scotland, and the coast of Norway.
This article was originally published with the title "Manufacturing, Mining, and Railroad Items" in Scientific American 21, 4, 60 (July 1869)